8 Week Half Marathon Training Plan

Woman running. 

So you want to run a half marathon? Running 13.1 miles is a huge accomplishment, but unlike a full marathon, the training doesn't have to take over your life. In fact, you can do it in only eight weeks, and we're here to show you how.

This plan is based on four days of running, two days of cross training and one day of rest each week. Your runs will include speed workouts so you can get used to race pace, as well as longer, slow-paced runs that gradually increase in length each weekend. When it comes to cross-training, aerobic activities are best, so think swimming, cycling or the elliptical.

This schedule is flexible. If you'd rather run five days a week, replace one of the cross-training days with an easy run. Likewise, if you're feeling wiped out, replace one of the cross-training days with another rest day. Make sure to always keep at least one rest day a week. You need a break both physically and mentally.

You can also shift the schedule so that your rest or cross-training is on days that work better for you.

Ready to get started? Check out the plan below.

Week 1

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 30-45 minutes, cross-training

Wednesday: 1-2 mile warm-up, 2 miles at goal race pace*, 1-2 mile cool-down

*Special Instructions: Not sure what your goal race pace is? Think "comfortably hard."

Thursday: 3-4 miles, easy

Friday: 30-45 minutes, cross-training

Saturday: 2-3 miles, easy

Sunday: 6 miles, easy

Week 2

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 30-45 minutes, cross-training

Wednesday: 1-2 mile warm-up, 60-second hills*, 1-2 mile cool-down

*Special Instructions: Find a hill that takes about 60 seconds to run up at a comfortably hard pace and then jog back down. Repeat 4-6 times.  

Thursday: 4-5 miles, easy

Friday: 30-45 minutes, cross-training

Saturday: 3-4 miles, easy

Sunday: 7 miles, easy

Week 3

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 30-45 minutes, cross-training

Wednesday: 1-2 mile warm-up, 4 miles at goal race pace, 1-2 mile cool-down

Thursday: 4-5 miles, easy

Friday: 30-45 minutes, cross-training

Saturday: 3-4 miles, easy

Sunday: 8 miles, easy  

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About the Author

Megan Harrington

Megan is a writer and RRCA certified running coach who lives and trains in rural upstate New York. She ran track and cross-country competitively in high school and college and now focuses on the half-marathon and marathon distance. When she's not running, Megan enjoys coaching fellow runners (www.runnerskitchen.com), snow-shoeing, hiking, and digging around in her garden.

Megan is a writer and RRCA certified running coach who lives and trains in rural upstate New York. She ran track and cross-country competitively in high school and college and now focuses on the half-marathon and marathon distance. When she's not running, Megan enjoys coaching fellow runners (www.runnerskitchen.com), snow-shoeing, hiking, and digging around in her garden.

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